Russia-US drone clash: Pentagon releases video showing fighter jet crashing into MQ-9 drone over Black Sea

The US military released dramatic video on Thursday morning that showed a Russian fighter jet intercepting and then colliding with a US MQ-9.reaperThe drone crashed into the Black Sea On Tuesday. The US accused Russia of operating its fighter jet in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner during the encounter. Russian occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

On Wednesday, a senior Russian official said Moscow would try to recover the wreckage of the drone. U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that the unmanned aerial vehicle likely broke up during the crash and the debris that remained may have sunk thousands of feet into the Black Sea.

“That’s American property,” he told a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. “Obviously, there’s not much to recover.”

An official told CBS News that the Russians had reached the crash site and were able to collect some debris, such as scrap metal, but Milley said the U.S. had taken mitigation measures to prevent any loss of vital intelligence.

“We are convinced that what was worth is no longer worth,” he told reporters.

Video (above) released by the Pentagon on Thursday, captured by a camera on an MQ-9, first shows a fighter jet passing by at close range. The camera footage is briefly lost after the apparent collision, but returns to show what the Air Force says is damage to the propeller from the strike.

The Russian jet “dumped fuel and struck the MQ-9’s propeller, forcing US forces to shoot the MQ-9 down in international waters,” the Air Force said in a statement accompanying the video.

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The video, released by the US Army’s European Command, was “edited for length, however, depicting the sequence of events,” the statement said.

An image taken from a video released by the US military on March 16, 2023 shows what the Pentagon said was a Russian fighter jet approaching a US Air Force MQ-9 drone shortly before it crashed into the Black Sea. Below, on March 14, 2023. The footage was captured by a camera on board the MQ-9, the Pentagon said.

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The U.S. has asked its European command to examine the growing risks to the intelligence benefits of drone flights inside the Russian-declared restricted area in the Black Sea, sources tell CBS News’ David Martin. The United States has already sent a plane to the area where it was shot to monitor Russian rescue efforts, and it wants to fly more, but it is reviewing its drone operations. CNN did it first Report on examination.

Speaking to reporters this week, Air Force Brig. General Pat Ryder referred to the drone as the MQ-9, but not its other name, the Reaper. The US uses Reapers for surveillance and strikes and has operated flights from Europe to the Middle East and Africa.

After the Black Sea incident, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Milli on Wednesday that he had spoken with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu after the Black Sea incident, but the US defense chief did not provide details of the conversation.

“The United States will continue to fly and operate where international law allows, and Russia has an obligation to operate its military aircraft in a safe and professional manner,” Austin told reporters.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies during a training mission on November 17, 2015 at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.
An MQ-9 Reaper drone flies during a training mission on November 17, 2015 at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said Shoigu told Austin that the conflict was “the result of escalation.” [U.S.] Intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation” and “non-compliance with the no-fly zone” were announced by Moscow amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Ukraine’s southern coast, the Black Sea and Crimea, Occupied by Russia since 2014 and claimed as its sovereign territoryWater sticks out of the body.

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The Russian ministry said it was acting “proportionately” to US provocations in the region, adding that “flights of US strategic unmanned aerial vehicles from the coast of Crimea are provocative in nature, creating preconditions for escalation. The situation in the Black Sea region.”

“Russia is not interested in the development of such events, but it will continue to respond proportionately to all provocations,” the Defense Ministry said.

CBS News’ Eleanor Watson contributed to this report.

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